Diving Right In

Mary Kate Daday comes from a family of swimmers. The senior co-captain of the Saint Mary’s swim team is one of six siblings, all of whom love the water just as much as she does. The Arlington Heights, Ill., native has found a second family in the Saint Mary’s swim team. “My favorite part about being on the team is getting to know the girls, being together at practices, and bus rides to away meets,” Daday says.

Although she remarks upon her “crazy schedule,” the swimmer finds time to explore each of her varied interests--academic or otherwise. “I have always wanted to work with children,” says Daday. This past summer, she worked at a health camp for children with disabilities in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The job was just right for Daday, a psychology and communicative disorders major who loves caring for children. She was a counselor in the camp’s preschool unit, assisting 3-5 year-olds with everything from therapy sessions to overseeing their mealtimes. She was also charged with three campers whom she watched over “24/7.”

The experience not only moved and inspired Daday--it gave her a chance to see speech and language pathologists in action. “I plan to go to graduate school in speech and language pathology,” she says. “I do not know exactly what area of speech and language pathology I want to work in, but probably in a hospital or clinic working with children.” Daday is a member of the communicative disorders program, which has been a minor at Saint Mary’s since the mid-nineties and just became a major this year. “I have enjoyed and learned so much in each one of my communicative disorders classes--from anatomy and physiology to evaluation procedures,” she enthuses. “I can’t wait to see what the future brings.”

Despite that “crazy schedule,” this swimmer has no trouble keeping her head above water. Daday’s professors have helped her organize her schedule to fit in studying abroad, playing a varsity sport, and pursuing two majors. Daday is particularly thankful for her experiences in the Saint Mary’s Rome program, and echoes most Rome students’ feelings when she says, “I gained a lot of independence and was able to live in a new culture all on my own.”